Madware is a type of aggressive advertising that affects smartphones and tablets. The name, which combines the words mobile and adware, was coined by the security vendor Symantec to describe a type of intrusive advertising that currently affects smartphones and tablets.
Typically, madware gets installed on a device when an end user agrees to allow ads in exchange for a free mobile app. Some madware can function like spyware by monitoring end user behavior and making undesirable changes to the device such as flooding the device with text message ads, replacing the phone’s dial tone with an audio ad and deliberately hiding from ad detectors. Madware banners often takes up valuable screen real estate, causing the end user to accidently click on the ad while navigating the website that is displaying the advertisement.
Madware can best be avoided by taking time to read each new app’s end user agreement before checking “I accept” and being extra cautious when installing apps that request access to the local system. End users should also close mobile apps when not in use, disable pop-up and extensions in mobile device browser settings and install mobile antimalware software.
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